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Scientists Derive Gelatin From Human Tissue

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the as-do-we-all dept.

Biotech 123

An anonymous reader writes "Conventional gelatin is made from collagen inside animals' skin and bones, however a group of researchers has managed to replace that animal base with a human one. The process involves taking human gelatin genes and inserting them into a strain of yeast, which can be cultivated to grow gelatin with controllable features. Jinchun Chen, the leader of the study, and his colleagues believe they can scale this process up to produce large amounts of human-based gelatin for medical uses. The research appears in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."

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123 comments

Soylent Green Jello. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36781834)

Now you know.

Re:Soylent Green Jello. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782390)

Tis the will of Steins;Gate.

Re:Soylent Green Jello. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782806)

Congratulations, now you are a cannibal.

It's (2, Insightful)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#36781854)

it's soylent jello

Not Soylent jello (3, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782164)

Well, the summery is misleading. Fact is that we've had the technology to make gelatin from human tissue for millennia. The new development here is that unlike the previous method, this does not require hacking up corpses and rendering them in a pot.

Re:Not Soylent jello (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782236)

And they call this progress?

Re:Not Soylent jello (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782306)

Fact is that we've had the technology to make gelatin from human tissue for millennia.

Has NBC been around that long?

Re:It's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782296)

Eh, people are more than a gene, and a single gene does not make something human. Ok, so it's chemically identical to something humans produce. So what? Bananas produce formaldehyde, and the human body produces chemically identical formaldehyde. Doesn't mean bananas are people. You can bet a lot of people will get all uptight about this due to the 'creep factor', but it isn't that big a deal.

Re:It's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782312)

I highly doubt the purpose of this work was to create a human flavor of jello for human consumption.

Re:It's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783852)

SOYLENT JELLO IS PEOPLE!!!!!!

ewww (0)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36781888)

Why does my jello taste like Grandma?

Re:ewww (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36781956)

Why does my jello taste like Grandma?

How do you know what Grandma tastes like?

Killer Clowns from outer Space Sports Drink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36781896)

om nom nom

Jello, Jello? Anyone there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36781900)

Suddenly I have even less of a desire to consume jello.

Another Crap Summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36781906)

And this is interesting how? Timothy is a moron.

Re:Another Crap Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36781936)

This is very helpful information for the next Hitler. Now, if they could only find a way to make petrol out of the rest of the body ...

Re:Another Crap Summary (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782264)

Now, if they could only find a way to make petrol out of the rest of the body ...

Made from blood.. No shortage of that

Re:Another Crap Summary (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782184)

Briefly mentioned in the summary: Medical uses. If you can make gelatin that is completely human bio-compatable, you can use it freely in the human body. Infuse it with drugs and you have a time-release capsule that can be implanted. Build it around shattered bone, and you've got a scaffolding that you can re-grow bone on. It'd even make a decent short-term replacement skin in some cases.

Bio-compatable, bio-degradable, flexible, and about the same density as most human tissue. There's lots of uses for that.

Re:Another Crap Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782332)

Breast Implants, enough said.

Ballistic gelatin. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782486)

Bio-compatable, bio-degradable, flexible, and about the same density as most human tissue. There's lots of uses for that.

Use it for ballistic gelatin. Talk about authenticity!

An honest question (3, Insightful)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 2 years ago | (#36781934)

Will this type of gelatin be acceptable to use in vegan food? No animal products, just us. Is that ok?

Re:An honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782088)

Technically it could be considered vegan. It is yeast, and yeast already shares a bunch of genes with us, this strain just shares one more. Still, I expect most vegans aren't desperate enough for marshmallows to accept this just yet.

Re:An honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782198)

Gelatin is used in the production of many kinds of candy apart from marshmallows, and in other 'serious' food too. The question remains whether it will actually be used much, since existing gelatin is essentially a waste product and pretty cheap as is. (And that sort of voids the most common reason vegans don't eat it: since there is an oversupply of gelatin, vegans could eat as much candy as they want without contributing to even one extra slaughtered animal. They'd still get fat though.)

Re:An honest question (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783902)

It would be superfluous anyway, since a plant-based gelling agent (pectin) has existed for centuries.

Re:An honest question (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782102)

They are putting gelatin genes into yeast. If Vegans can drink beer can they not eat gelatin as it is? It isn't like the yeast have suddenly become more animal like with a few extra genes.

Re:An honest question (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782136)

For you or me this doesn't matter but for those that want to superpowers it is really important.

Re:An honest question (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782276)

A lot of vegans won't drink beer, as it is sometimes clarified with egg protein, regular gelatin, or isinglass, which is made from the linings of fish swim bladders.

Re:An honest question (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782708)

A lot of vegans won't drink beer, as it is sometimes clarified with egg protein

Further clarifying everything we need to know about their cognitive difficulties.

Re:An honest question (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783210)

A lot of vegans won't drink beer, as it is sometimes clarified with egg protein

Further clarifying everything we need to know about their cognitive difficulties.

No, clarifying agents leave trace amounts behind, vegans, by definition, are scrupulous in avoiding animal products. Hope that clarifies your understanding.

Re:An honest question (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784276)

scrupulous in avoiding animal products

Do you have any idea how many perfectly nice earthworms are killed by plow blades on organic farms as fields are being tilled to plant soybeans so that vegans can smugly pretend they're not bothering any non-plant life forms? Do you know how many scrupulous gardeners use chickens to control insects and weeds, and notice that no hens seem particularly distraught about laying eggs on a regular basis? Do you realize how absurd vegans make themselves sound over matters like this? It's just faux piety, and it's embarassing, really. Please stop it.

GMO Vegans? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782462)

Do you know any vegans who eat food products made from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)?

Unless I miss my guess there will be few to none who would consider this acceptable, regardless of the human source of the inserted gene.

Re:GMO Vegans? (2)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783104)

Yup. I'm vegan, and I don't have any inherent problem with eating GMO products.

Re:GMO Vegans? (3, Interesting)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783360)

I appreciate your reply. I'm considering going vegan, and yet I have a nervous habit of biting my fingernails. This could possibly provide a solution.

Re:GMO Vegans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783342)

im a vegan(since 8 years), and i dont care about genetically modified stuff.

Re:GMO Vegans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783874)

Don't put all vegans in the same box. There are many different reasons to why some people don't want to eat meat.
Some does it because they like animals and don't want them to suffer needlessly.
Others really hate animals and don't want to have anything with them to do.

The vegan might or might not eat GMOs depending on a lot of different reasons just like carnivores will do.

Vega is 26ly away (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782616)

You'll have to ask the Vegans? If you send a message there now you could get a reply in 52 years

Re:An honest question (1)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782666)

I would say 'yes', if the people contributing the genes are consenting.

Luckily there's already a few types of vegan 'gelatin', such as agar agar, so we've had jello, marshmallows, etc, for many years already.

And i would certainly prefer those over the human variants. Ew!

- Token Vegan ;)

How about (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782808)

gelatin made by yeast modified with the genes from a cow that died of old age?

Re:How about (1)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783274)

I'd say probably not. The definition of vegan is:

Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude - as far as is possible and practical - all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment.

We have animal-free alternatives, so it's a moot point really.

Beyond that, it could be argued we're still exploiting that animal (assuming the cow was raised in captivity.)

Re:An honest question (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782762)

Most vegans avoid transgenic food as well. This isn't really made from humans; it's a human gene expressed in yeast.

Avoiding transgenic food isn't mandatory for vegans. Many at least at margarine, made with highly processed fats, so they're not opposed to all technology. Still, I suspect this would get few takers.

Not that it matters. This isn't for food; it's for medical purposes. If they wanted vegan gelatin from transgenic yeasts they'd have made it from pig genes years ago.

Re:An honest question (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784102)

Even as a vegan you can't get around eating germs and yeast.
They sit on plants too, no matter how much you scrub them.

I, for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782972)

would be happy to not lose my vegan superpowers.

Re:An honest question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783164)

Technically, yes, it would be okay if the human donating the gelatin source gave consent. Vegans don't use animals for food, clothing, or work simply because the animals cannot consent to do so. They are not ours to use just because they're not as intelligent as us. (And if you don't believe that, then I'll be laughing as the aliens bbq you.) Further, it would be *no more* disgusting than eating any other animal gelatin.

But I don't care how nicely you ask - I'm not eating you.

Just great (4, Funny)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#36781970)

Now, small children will get a taste for human flesh. You've doomed us all, you bastards

Re:Just great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783002)

Personally, I'm not all that scared of small children.

Re:Just great (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783436)

Their nails are sharp, and can quickly gain a leverage advantage on you. Once you're down on the ground, you're pretty helpless unless there's only one or two.

Never replace (1)

h1q (2042122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782090)

The Pohl house special: Chicken Little.

Re:Never replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783270)

They're aren't enough people really interested in history to mod your post up but you deserve a 5 for that.

Obvious Medical Use (1)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782118)

The next time I get a cold, I can replace all my lost phlegm with no fear of the dreaded phlegm rejection syndrome.

A twisted circle (0)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782176)

So, if you take your fat, and make human jello out of it and eat it, do you get fat again and get to repeat the whole process?

Actually this is kind of exciting for the medical field. I would think. If we can develop human genetics to take off in another medium and cultivate parts to replace our own dying ones, that would be GREAT. What's even better is we can make BETTER replacements. They did say a form of jello? The first thing that comes to mind is even BETTER breast enhancements.

Nerve splicing is going to be the really great thing to see. Mix that in with organ farming and tada! Brain replacement is the only part that puzzles me. We need to mimic a human neural network, an emulator if you will, then mirror the brain over onto hardware via some kind of interface. I would highly advise keeping that hardware isolated from any other networks until it could be appraised. I can't imagine the whole process not involving camping in a big vat of gelatinous goop for weeks on end with an array of esoteric electronics and tubing sprawled throughout.

The irony will be, prisoners will be able to serve out those multiple life sentences. What an interesting can of worms that will be to open.

Breast Implants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782182)

Could you submit at tissue sample and have your own breast implants made. Filled with your own jello?

Soylent Green... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782266)

Now in Cherry! (Or Mary, I guess in this case.)
Anyone else feel like Hannibal Lector is the one funding this research?

Now "Certified Human" ballistic gelatin (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782504)

Some entrepreneur ought to be able to sell at least one (5 ton minimum) order of "Certified Human" ballistic gelatin to some defense department employee gullible enough to think they ought to test it and see if the "Certified human" content makes a difference.

COWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36782744)

When the cows take over we will regret our obsessions with jello and glue products....

been there, done that (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36782828)

70 years ago, it was soap and lamp shades. Is this what the New World Order is about? Reduce the population and stock up the larder in one go.

Re:been there, done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36784026)

Om nom nom nom!

Purina Zombie Chow (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783010)

In case of the zombie apocalypse, this is what you can distract them with. Add poison or high explosives, and much hilarity ensues.

Re:Purina Zombie Chow (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 2 years ago | (#36783466)

Poison is mostly ineffective, but I much like the explosives. Nitroglycerin would seem to be particularly promising.

Re:Purina Zombie Chow (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784060)

Think again. You'd not only have zombies coming after you, you'd have explosive zombies coming after you that go KABOOM the moment you shove them back.

Tell Everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783094)

Soylent Green is made of people!

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783122)

I can finally get some long pig flavored Jell-O!

These punks rock! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36783306)

Are we not men? We are Jello!

More modern Martian styled funerals (1)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 2 years ago | (#36784322)

Now in the age facile convenience we may Grok our loved ones with jello shots at the wake. No muss no fuss, and for added experiential profundity lace those shots with psilocybin.
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